Device Independence: Why Deaf Kids Need Breaks From their Hearing Devices

Device Independence: Why Deaf Kids Need Breaks From their Hearing Devices

We have been working on device independence with our 2 year old Deaf son Frank for some time!

And now he will often just hand me his hearing aids after a big day of listening and sign DON'T WANT.

I mean, this is the dream right?! 

However, other children may be a little more subtle in their need for a break (think stimming, hiding in dark spaces or withdrawing from play) OR they will communicate their need through a category 10 meltdown 🥴 It's a mixed bag out there!

But something I can't stress enough is that acknowledging and allowing device-free time for our DHH kids is crucial for their long-term development 🤟🏼

Here are 5 REASONS WHY:

🦻 It builds a positive relationship with their devices + a sense of ownership over their use

🦻 It respects their right to bodily autonomy + choice

🦻 It provides relief from accumulated listening fatigue that builds throughout the day

🦻 It reduces cognitive exhaustion + overstimulation that comes from listening in noise and discriminating / understanding sounds via an artificial pathway

🦻 It communicates to them that their devices are a tool, but not relied upon for communicating with the ones they love

BONUS WHY: It gives their family an opportunity to build their visual communication and signing skills together! Win win!


NOTE: All DHH children deserve breaks from their devices if they need them. However, if your child is refusing their devices ALL day every day, then there could be something else going on such as sickness, middle ear pressure, change in hearing levels etc and a trip to the audiologist/ENT is recommended!

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